From Israel: “Heads Held High in Our Horrendous Fight!!”

The entire nation of Israel is aching.  But we remain determined and of good faith: We WILL prevail.

Yet, we ask, why does it have to be so damn hard?  


I begin with a correction.  I wrote in my last post about Yasser Arafat, who refused an offer for a state made by then prime minister Ehud Olmert.  But Arafat was dead by then and Mahmoud Abbas had assumed the presidency of the PA; he was the one who declined.  Arafat had refused an earlier offer made by then prime minister Ehud Barak.

My memory failed me on this and it’s important to correct the historical error.  But in truth, my point remains exactly the same.  Arafat, Abbas, no difference.  They both refused.


One of the more difficult aspects of what we are dealing with is the lies about Israel that are being circulated and the extensive embrace of them in many quarters, including among some in the US Congress.

It’s not that Hamas says the things it does, but that there are people who so readily believe the accusations. Not everyone, of course.  But those who accept the lies (and they are all too many) don’t step back and think, would Israelis do this?  Could this be an accurate description of what happened?


And so, I appeal to each of you, my friends, to take upon yourselves the task of setting the record on Israel straight at every possible juncture.  Do not remain passive, please.  Do not imagine that your voice does not count.  

If you reach out to ten people, or twenty, when I ask that information be shared, and you urge them to reach out to another ten, and…. If you put the material on your Facebook page or Instagram. If you write letters to the editor countering lies.

There are those who have hatred for Israel so deeply imbedded within them that they will never reverse their attitudes. But there are many, I believe, who just might soften or change their positions, faced with evidence they find convincing.


Some of the lies pertain to what is going on in Gaza, of course.  We are accused of indiscriminate killing of civilians.  I even heard this past week from someone in America that there is a charge that Israel kills babies in incubators.  That left me breathless with rage at the libel.

But the other side of the picture painted by Hamas is that the October 7 massacre never happened:  Goodness!  They wouldn’t do that. Their religion would not allow it. Theirs was a legitimate act of resistance against the soldiers of Israel, which is an occupier.


Israel has done a good job in putting out information about what happened that horrendous day.  Some people – myself included – opt not to see videos of mutilated bodies because it is too difficult.  But I, and some of the others who decline, KNOW what happened.  We’ve read descriptions of women raped next to the dead bodies of their friends, heard people talk about the horrors that were inflicted, the difficulty there was in identifying bodies burnt to a crisp or without heads. I have lost plenty of sleep as it is.   


What I can and will ask you to share is a short video of three journalists who had just seen a graphic video of the massacre, journalists who came because they understood that they had to know the truth. Their words may convince others of the truth.

One woman (pictured below) says (emphasis added):

I have seen many wars.  It’s the worst thing I ever saw in all of my lifetime.  It’s like seeing a horror movie in the reality.  It is something I would never have imagined could have happened.  I thought it was fantasy in the thoughts of some crazy mind.  Now I see it is reality.”     

Ah ha!   

This can and should be shared very widely, my friends.  Please!


Credit: FB


This is the enemy we must defeat, because they promise more massacres like October 7.  



“A tech nonprofit that monitors and fights antisemitism on social media says in a new report that its analysis of 910 potentially antisemitic social media posts found more than a third outright denied or distorted facts about the October 7th invasion of Israel and ensuing atrocities, abductions, and massacre by Hamas-led terrorists.” (Emphasis added)



One of the many things Israel is struggling with right now, as most of my readers are certainly aware, is the issue of the hostages, perhaps 136 although not all are still alive.  The greatest anguish is over the couple of children still held and the women, who likely have been raped, are certainly highly traumatized and may be pregnant.  

The question is how to bring them out.  There are, of course, no simple answers or it would have been done already.  Rumors fly non-stop regarding deals that are close to being finalized, but again and again the reports turn out to be inaccurate.

Hamas has been holding out for the maximum – their position has shifted but apparently at first they said they would only release the captives if Israel stopped fighting and pulled out. That is not going to happen.  There was talk of Hamas insisting that all terrorists in our prisons, or certainly all Hamas terrorists caught since October 7, be released. That will not happen either.


But we will have to pay for the release of the hostages somehow, and this payment will almost certainly include some sort of hiatus in fighting and release of some terrorists.


It saddens me greatly to say this – because I have the most enormous sympathy for the torment of the families of the captives.  But their clamoring in wide-scale demonstrations for Israel to do anything necessary to bring the hostages out has, unfortunately, likely strengthened the bargaining position of Hamas.

There was a bit of a furor because Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich commented in the presence of relatives of the hostages, that he could not commit to bringing them out. But that statement was taken out of context.  His full statement is, in my opinion, a very reasonable one, reflecting an agonized situation:

“I cannot commit to bringing all the captives home alive.

“I cannot promise that to you, I am saying it as it is – I cannot commit, I’m not looking at anyone and telling him ‘I’ll bring your son back alive’. I can say that I will do everything to bring him back, I will do my utmost to the best of my judgment and conscience in a way that will best serve the prospect of returning him but I will be chiefly looking out for the good of Israel and the Jewish people, our security and existence many years ahead.” (Emphasis added)


Credit: CNN


There are two factors implicit here.  One is the obvious, discussed above: we cannot set ourselves up for a repeat of October 7 in order to rescue the captives.  And then, if the bitter truth be told, there is no way to guarantee we can bring them all back alive no matter what we do.


Yesterday, Defense Minister Gallant pointed out discrepancies within the negotiating positions of Hamas officials regarding the hostages. “The most influential ones in the Hamas negotiations are the ones farthest from the Gaza Strip – those who fly in luxury planes and sit in luxury hotels.”  


Makes obvious sense.  Those outside of Gaza are enjoying the good life in Qatar, far removed from hardships.  Those caught in Gaza are feeling the heat from Israel, suffering ammunition shortages and personnel issues.  

The key figures that Gallant would be referring to are Ismail Haniyeh, the chief of Hamas’s political bureau (pictured), and Khaled Mashal, Hamas’s former political chief.  

Credit: aa


Israel is now refusing to provide information to the Red Cross on Hamas prisoners until they secure information on our hostages.


The decision – a reversal of a previous decision – was prompted by Minister Itamar Ben Gvir:

“If they [Hamas] want details about their cursed terrorists, then they should pass on details about our heroic hostages. It is a logical, normal, moral and legal demand, any normal country would demand it.”


Credit Credit: Alex Kolomoisky

Every time I see a strengthening of the Israeli position, I celebrate.


After a slowdown of our military efforts in Gaza, this week we have gone full force in the south, in the Khan Yunis area.  The achievements are encouraging.

Monday night, the IDF reported that the encirclement of Khan Yunis was complete.

“The 98th Division led a major push into the western part of Khan Younis [Monday], with the 7th Armored Brigade and Givati Brigade encircling the city, the military said.”


Today, in close-quarter combat Paratroopers did battle in western Khan Yunis.  

“…the troops found dozens of Kalashnikov rifles, frag grenades, explosives used to fire from drones, and mortars.”  Dozens of terrorists have been taken out.


Today’s item for the beautiful people of Israel concerns the Koby Mandell Foundation. In 2001, Koby Mandell, 13, and his friend Yosef Ishran were brutally murdered by terrorists.

His parents, Rabbi Seth and Sherri Mandell, then subsequently founded the Koby Mandell Foundation in his memory. They turned their personal mourning into a venture that helps others.

For years they have been doing marvelous, healing work with those bereaved because of terror: they help children, spouses, siblings, parents of terror victims in a safe and loving environment.  Those who are traumatized trust them because they, too, experienced loss at the hands of terrorists.

Seth and Sherri at Camp Koby:

Credit: Dena Wimpfheimer

Now they have announced that they have started working with survivors from Kibbutz Be’eri, the hardest hit of the communities attacked on October 7.  (I believe there are about 700 survivors.) The trauma of this community is enormous.

Obviously, as their work increases enormously, the foundation is in need of additional funds.  All of their programs are free of charge to the recipients of assistance.

Please consider helping:



Keep praying to Heaven for Israel, my friends.  Pray for the strength and wisdom of our leaders, for the safety of our boys, and for the rescue of our hostages.  Pray with a heart filled with hope.


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.